|My #chasethebird images on Instagram|
Happy Friday! Instead of shopping 'til I drop, I'm linking up with Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia for the Friday Five linkup. Today's theme is Gratitude and I thought I'd use it as a chance to talk about the wonderful #chasethebird challenge.
What is #chasethebird?
From Oiselle: "From November 1st - 26th, we challenge you to do (at least) 15 minutes of something everyday... just move! Then share what you did each day with #chasethebird."
What I did
I used #chasethebird as a run streak. 26 days of running didn't sound too terrible and my current training cycle for the Naples Half began on November 2, so it seemed like a perfect fit. (Remember, Oiselle only asked for 15 minutes of activity. It was my choice to run everyday.)
But won't a streak cause injury?!
I admit, I wondered if running everyday would take its toll. About halfway through I had a little pain in my knee that I thought may be related to the streak, but after ice and stretching it worked itself out. Maintaining the streak at the beginning of my training cycle (low miles) was a great idea. On my rest days, I ran between 1 and 1.75 miles, depending on my route. I'm no Haruki Murakami, so six miles a day probably wouldn't work for me.
Unintended consequences (all positive)
First and foremost, I've become a morning runner! Until now, I ran after work. With early sunsets I found myself making excuses not to run last year. This year I used the time change to my advantage and woke up early. It's fantastic to be finished with my run before 9am.
Running is now a part of my daily routine and I'm going to try to keep my streak alive until the end of the month. I knew I needed to run everyday, so I made time for it. On especially lazy days, I knew I could run at least a mile.
Oddly enough, #chasethebird helped my photo skills. I can't say I'm a great photographer or that I take especially compelling photos, but because I'm usually looping my small neighborhood I had to get creative with the daily photos. There are only so many pictures of feet one feed can handle!
Finally, during my streak I ran my fastest mile and built my speed. My comfortable running pace is 20-30 seconds faster than one month ago. At the end of my 26 days I PR'd my 5 mile Turkey Trot. In the middle of said race I ran a 5k PR! (and I know I can run a 5k even faster because I had plenty of energy left for the last two miles). I don't know if the streak is the root cause, but I think running every day helped me conquer my general laziness in regards to training.
So, this year (in addition to family, friends, health, and happiness) I'm thankful for #chasethebird and my online running buddies. And my legs. Thanks, legs.
Have you participated in a streak or daily challenge? (Running or otherwise)